The Mystery of the Busted Tooth
Poor Charlie! What a couple of weeks he’s had! Me, too, thinking it was all my fault.
See, he was eating some of Joan Levesque’s peanut brittle, which I bought at a bake sale down to the Community Center. He just loves that stuff. So much so, I got to dole it out to him piece by piece, or he’ll scarf up the whole bag in one sitting.
So anyways, Charlie’s in our Barcalounger love seat, chomping away, when suddenly, he stops. How did I know? Listen, unless I’ve got the garbage disposal runnin’, I can hear him chewing. I mean, it’s loud enough to rattle the shingles on the roof!
“What is it, Charlie?”
“I don’t know,” he says, feeling around his mouth. “I think I broke a tooth.”
“I think. It feels kind of rough around there…”
The next day, Charlie gets an appointment to see our dentist, Dr. “I’m going to have to put a crown on that” Dorfman. Sure as shootin’, he needs a crown. I mean, he fractured a tooth. He’s got to have it done. So Dr. D. sets him up with a temporary, and sends him home.
“How was it?” I asked.
“Well, besides the numbness, not too bad,” Charlie says. “But that $1100 hurt like a bastard!”
Oh, no! I’m thinking. It’s all on account of that peanut brittle.
Well, you’d expect to feel some pain for a few days, but a week later, Charlie was still hurting, waking up in the middle of the night, taking ibuprofen.
“You’re going to have to go back to Dr. Dorfman, Charlie. I don’t think it’s supposed to be aching like that.”
“Me neither. If it’s still bad on Monday, I’ll go, alright?”
“I’m just saying.”
Finally Charlie goes back to Dr. D. When he got home, he was looking none too pleased. “How’d you make out?” I ask.
“He says I got to see this root canal guy in Bangor.”
“I don’t want to do it. I’m going to tough it out another week, see if it goes away.”
“I don’t think it works like that, Charlie. You either need a root canal or you don’t.”
“Man, I’m gonna lose a whole day goin’ to Bangor! If I’m not better by Monday, I’ll call ‘em.”
So, we wait until Monday, me watching Charlie slowly eat his food on one side of his mouth. Him waking up in the middle of the night, groaning, getting out of bed and stomping to the bathroom, the rattle of the ibuprofen bottle, more groaning. Charlie shuffling back into the bedroom, tossing and turning until he finally falls asleep again, leaving me fully awake now, staring at the ceiling ‘til morning. By Sunday, I was ready to do that root canal myself!
Monday, Charlie gets up and calls the root canal guy, who manages to fit him in that afternoon. Whoa, doggie! I was looking at one unhappy camper that morning, hauling his butt off the Bangor.
After my shift at the A&P, I pick up stuff to make a salmon pie with a white sauce for supper. You know, something soft for Charlie to eat. No sooner did I get home and start cooking when I hear Charlie’s truck in the drive.
“How’d you make out, honey?”
“Great!” he says. “They did a root canal.”
“Oh my God! Are you alright?”
“Yup. Fine! It wasn’t bad at all.”
“No! Boy, that guy knows his business. Took him, what? Thirty seconds to figure it out? If that. I got a dead tooth.”
“Yup. So he asks me if I want to start the root canal today. ‘I don’t know,’ I says, ‘how much pain will I be in?’ ‘Less pain than you’re in right now,’ he says, ‘guaranteed.’ ‘OK,’ I says. ‘I’m here. Let’s go for it!’”
“You’re a trooper, Charlie.”
“Listen, I think root canals get a bad rap. It was nothing. After numbing me up, it took him ten minutes, maybe. ‘Course, we’re gonna have to refinance the house to pay for all this, but other than that, no pain.”
“Nope. Oh, and I asked the guy what caused it, and he said it weren’t the peanut brittle at all.”
“He says I grind my teeth, when I’m sleeping! Do I do that?”
“Well,” I says, “I don’t know. To be honest, Charlie, it’d be hard to hear it over all your snoring!”
“Very funny! What’s for supper?”
That’s it for now. Catch you on the flip side!
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